Father Robert DeCesare, LC
Jesus said to
his disciples: "No one can serve two masters; for
a slave will either hate the one and love the
other, or be devoted to the one and despise
the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I
tell you, do not worry about your life, what
you will eat or what you will drink, or
about your body, what you will wear. Is not life
more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow
nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more
value than they? And can any of you by worrying
add a single hour to your span of life?
And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies
of the field, how they grow; they neither toil
nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in
all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the
field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown
into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you
of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ´What
will we eat?´ or ´What will we drink?´ or ´What
will we wear?´ For it is the Gentiles who
strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly
Father knows that you need all these things. But strive
first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you
as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will bring worries of its own. Today´s trouble is
enough for today."
Introductory Prayer: Once again, Lord,
I come to you to pray. Even though I cannot
see you, I trust that you are present and
I want very much for you to instruct me through
your teachings. In the same way you demonstrate your
love for me by spending this time with me,
I want to express my love for you by dedicating
this time to you with a spirit of faith,
confidence and attention. Here I am, Lord, to listen to
you and respond with love.
Lord, help me to put you first in my
1. “No One Can Serve Two Masters” - “Those
who live according to the flesh set their minds on
the things of the flesh, but those who live
according to the Spirit set their minds on the
things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). The two are opposed.
There is a constant battle going on within, between
the flesh and the spirit. The one wants to
master the other. “I find it to be a law
that when I want to do what is good,
evil lies close at hand” (Romans 7:21). Since the spirit
is against the flesh and the flesh against the
spirit, no one can fool himself into thinking he
can serve both. It is impossible to serve both masters,
because one is pitted against the other.
Cannot Serve God and Wealth” - Saint Thomas More
had helped a young family friend, Richard Rich. But
when Saint Thomas was arrested, Richard Rich’s envy and love
of power led him to testify falsely against More
in order to secure his own position at court.
Envy and unbridled ambition can destroy our souls. This
illustrates the clash in our soul between defining ourselves either
by who we are or by what we have.
Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae: “The
values of being are replaced by those of having.
The only goal which counts is the pursuit of one´s
own material well-being. The so-called ‘quality of life’ is
interpreted primarily or exclusively as economic efficiency, inordinate consumerism,
physical beauty and pleasure, to the neglect of the
more profound dimensions – interpersonal, spiritual and religious –
of existence” (no. 23). The two poles are at odds,
and we are caught in the middle, having to
choose one of them, as we cannot choose both.
“Strive First for the Kingdom of God” - What
good will it do us if we concern ourselves
with this world, only to lose what is most
important, our happiness in the next world? What else matters
but the kingdom of God? We are called to
seek this kingdom, and to seek it here and
now. Striving for the kingdom of God demands the best
from us, but is not oppressive. It calls for
us always to seek to do good and avoid evil.
It calls for us to deny our inner tendency
towards worldly goods and pleasures and to seek to
become more and more like Christ. When we act as
we are supposed to, we are striving for God’s
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want
to leave behind me all those attractions that keep me
from putting you first. I know that it will
be a struggle. I want to master myself for you.
Help me to put you first, above all else
in my life, so that I may truly strive for
the kingdom of heaven.
will make a small sacrifice in order to grow
in the virtue I need most.